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Brad Lidge plans to retire from baseball

The veteran right-hander is hanging up the towel after 11 big-league seasons.

Dilip Vishwanat

Former Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies' closer Brad Lidge has informed his agents that he plans to retire, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN:

Four years ago, he lived every closer's dream, throwing the final pitch of the 2008 World Series. Now, Brad Lidge has thrown his final pitch, period.

Lidge's agent, Rex Gary, said Sunday that the 35-year-old right-hander had informed him and partner Jim Turner that he plans to retire.

The veteran right-hander had about as volatile a career as possible as a reliever. He is as famous for giving up a game-losing grand slam to Albert Pujols in Game 4 of the 2005 NLCS as he is for his blown-save-free 2008, when he racked up 41 regular-season saves and closed out the World Series for the Phillies.

The right-hander seems seemed to settle for mediocrity, either putting together incredible or terrible numbers. Lidge had four seasons in which he carried an ERA under 2.30 but also had four seasons with an ERA well over 5.00. For instance, following his stellar 2008 in which he posted a 1.95 ERA in 69⅓ innings, Lidge put up a garish 7.21 ERA in 58⅔ innings in 2009.

The 35-year-old started the 2012 season with the Washington Nationals but only made it 9⅓ innings before being released. The right-hander underwent surgery for a sports hernia in April and has been slow in his recovery.

For his career, Lidge owns a 3.54 ERA and has notched a stellar 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings, the second-highest rate in history for any pitcher with over 500 innings. The right-hander also has 18 career postseason saves -- second only to Mariano Rivera -- and 225 overall.

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